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I am a multimedia journalist currently working as a Senior Web Journalist/ Videographer with Khaleej Times in Dubai, UAE. Prior to this, I worked as a news editor with CNN’s Indian affiliate in Noida. I graduated from Syracuse University in New York state in 2012 with a Masters degree in Broadcast and Digital journalism. I have worked in video production, online journalism, features writing and market research over a period of four years.

Centro’s new transfer hub to impact Bus Riders and Businesses in Downtown Syracuse

Common Center about to End

By Nilanjana Gupta (SYRACUSE) – The Common Center at the corner of East Fayette and South Salina streets has been the center of transportation in Syracuse since before the 1900s. In seven months that’s no longer going to be the case. Starting April next year, Centro‘s bus hub will be shifted to a new location – three blocks down from there, at the corner of South Salina and East Adams streets.

Impact on Bus Riders

As downtown undergoes its greatest change of the century, many bus riders share their thoughts.

“May be it ll be a blessing to move down there because there will be a bathroom… If you’re coming from Liverpool or somewhere far, none of these stores will let you use their bathroom,” David Davis, a bus rider, said.

Another bus rider, Dontilla Magunga said lots of people use the bus and it will be really hard and crowded to get around the place if they just concentrate the buses to one location instead of different places.

She also finds that the lack of shops around the new location makes it more inconvenient.

“It’s really actually easier like if I want a coffee, I will just get into one of the stores and then get on the bus right away… But if it’s over there, there are no shops over there,” Magunga said.

“Most of the people come here just to use the buildings around this place, so if it was down there, people will have to walk all the way up and that will not be good,” Magunga said.

Sandra Wray, another bus rider, said after the new transfer hub opens she may not use the stores around the Common Center anymore.

“I do use the Rite Aid, the Dunkin Donuts, Dollarwise… So that way it may be an inconvenience, but if we really need what we want sometimes we have to go out our way to get things accomplished,” Wray said.

Wray said she thinks that these stores may end up losing money but the shifting of the bus hub may also benefit them in some ways.

“When it’s really really cold, people stand in the right aid and just stand there so it’s good for the store owner that people won’t crowd their lobby but then bad for business,” Wray said.

“I think it’s going to be bad because everybody comes here for Rite Aid… I get my pills from there because it’s more convenient… And I heard Dunkin Donuts is moving up but Rite Aid and shops like that… They are going to lose business,” Lerry Roberts, another bus rider, said.

Impact on Local Businesses

Business owners around the common center say they are willing to face the change.

“Basically we are going to do our best to accommodate the people who live down here as we can… And provide a friendly atmosphere,” Anthony Young, Manager of Central Variety, said.

“We have a mix of customers that take not only the bus but drive… So I am hoping with the bus stop shifting that it will help the congestion we are experiencing.. And then more people who drive will then come downtown,” Dave Bergan, Owner of Bergan Brothers Clothing, said.

For businesses around the new transfer station, it sounds like only good news.

“I think it is going to help us a lot in growing our business because the traffic is going to be around this block,” said Jamal Maliti, Owner of City Wireless at the East Adams Street, said.

“I think that it will increase our business in this area in general which is a lighter end of town and hopefully bring in more tenants into this building… My opinion is Dunkin Donuts and Rite Aid will definitely lose business,” Jeff Kingsley, Owner of Cafe 500 located around the new transfer hub, said.

Centro: ‘New Transfer hub promises better Bus Riding Experience’

Steve Koegel, Centro’s Comunications Director, said the new bus station will feature covered platforms that will allow 22 buses to load and unload passengers. He said the riders can purchase bus passes from electronic machines and also get bus information on electronic display signs.

Koegel said the station will be climate-controlled.

“This is Syracuse New York we have some harsh winter, it gets snow it get windy so we have to protect out customers from these elements,” Koegel said.

He said he hopes some businesses will choose to locate where the people are.

“In their current location, we bring a lot of people and there are shops that flourish around it…we believe that once we move down here, we are hopeful… That some of the vacant buildings around here will flourish as well,” Koegel said.

Click here to see the Animated video of The Centro Hub when completed

Koegel said the construction is about 65% complete. Bus riders and local businesses will still have to face the long winter months before they witness any changes when the new facility opens next year.

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